NEW YORK (Reuters) – Several hundred people took to the streets of New York on Wednesday to protest the U.S. Department of Justice’s decision not to bring charges against a New York City policeman in the chokehold death of an unarmed black man in 2014.
The demonstrators also vented their anger at New York Mayor Bill de Blasio, a Democrat who has declined to fire Officer Daniel Pantaleo in the five years since Eric Garner died in police custody.
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De Blasio told reporters on Wednesday that he was surprised to learn that the Justice Department would not bring charges and that he regretted delaying the start of disciplinary proceedings against Pantaleo for years at the DOJ’s request.
“You can do something about it,” said Takiema McKiver, 30, from Queens, responding to de Blasio’s comments. “You can’t just say that you can’t do something about police brutality. You’re the mayor; this is your city.”
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De Blasio, who is running for his party’s presidential nomination, said New York City’s police commissioner would decide by August whether to punish or fire Pantaleo.
The officer has been on desk duty since he was seen in bystanders’ cellphone videos putting Garner in a prohibited chokehold and wrestling him to the...
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